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May 20, 1994
Hugh Hewitt's diatribe (Opinion, May 8) is predictable in its inaccuracies, only a few of which are addressed in this letter. Hewitt states that the California gnatcatcher does not deserve listing by the federal Endangered Species Act, as there are 3 million of the critters in Mexico. This data was obtained from a developer-supported study which was never embraced by the scientific community, because its methods were flawed. The "3 million birds" were extrapolated from a sample of less than 400 birds!
September 14, 2009 | Louis Sahagun
Developers and environmentalists at odds over a plan to transform Montebello's last stretch of undeveloped highlands into a $500-million housing project have found common ground in at least one area: the instability at Montebello City Hall. At stake is the future of 488 acres of rugged open space in the Eastside suburb. Today, the land is an active oil field and refuge for the largest population of threatened California gnatcatchers in Los Angeles County. But political turmoil at City Hall has complicated matters for both camps as they strive to strike a balance between stoking the local economy and protecting open space that features a rare swath of coastal sage scrub habitat.
September 22, 1991
Re "U.S. Moves to Protect the Gnatcatcher," Part A, Sept 6: The discussion currently surrounding the proposed designation of the California gnatcatcher as an endangered species is somewhat akin to seriously examining the pros and cons of nuclear war. To even suggest that any species be channeled toward extinction to allow a few more tract houses, hotels or freeways in Southern California and a few more Mercedes in real estate developers' garages...
December 5, 2006 | Louis Sahagun, Times Staff Writer
The researchers waded through the Palos Verdes Peninsula's tilted thickets of sage last summer hoping to find at least 56 pairs of California gnatcatchers, the same number counted a dozen years ago. But to their surprise -- and delight -- the final count hit 72 pairs, about 29% more than were discovered in 1994. "We were incredibly excited at the numbers," said Andrea Vona, a habitat restoration expert with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy.
September 20, 1992
The politically appointed California Fish and Game Commission is supposed to protect our wildlife, yet it has a long history of favoring economic interests over biologic considerations. Last year, the commission ignored its own staff and refused to advance the California gnatcatcher under the state Endangered Species Act. Now, the courts have determined that they acted illegally on the gnatcatcher. In contemptuous terms, the judge described the commission's failure to back up their conclusions with scientific evidence.
May 15, 1994
In response to "Gnatcatcher Taken Off Threatened Species List" (May 3), I say Bravo! Pave it! Develop it! You missed a spot, there on the coast between Newport Beach and Laguna. Quick! Build houses, fence it off, plant palm trees, hide the view. Now quick, build a freeway across the hilltops, flatten it, mow it down. We will need it so that all those people who buy those new homes have a way to get there. Wow, just look at all that land south of Capistrano! Let's get started! I was born, raised and have lived 38 years in California.
April 4, 1993
The decision on the little gnatcatcher only reinforces my belief in the old hymn: "His Eye Is on the Sparrow (and Gnatcatchers) and I Know He's Watching Me." HELEN PAULSEN Anaheim
April 22, 1993 | From Associated Press
Construction of a $5-million physical education facility at a college was halted after federal wildlife officials said the project endangered the habitat of California gnatcatchers. U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials walked onto the project site at Cuyamaca College on April 9 and advised construction officials to stop work, saying they were in violation of the Endangered Species Act. The California gnatcatcher, a tiny songbird, was placed on the threatened species list last month.
October 13, 1991
I would like to address questions raised by Edith Read, Margot Griswold and Jeff Kaufmann ("Praise for Fish and Wildlife, Scorn for Developers in Gnatcatcher Debate," Letters, Sept. 15) regarding the "experts" working with Gov. Wilson's administration on coastal sage scrub conservation planning. A Scientific Review Panel (SRP) was appointed in June by State Secretary for Resources Douglas P. Wheeler, with input from appropriate representatives of the conservation community, California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Southern California land developers.
September 18, 2006
Re "O.C. Wetlands Restoration May Have a Downside," Sept. 13 I was disappointed in the article's limited background information. Eucalyptus trees are an invasive plant species native to Australia that can displace native habitat for wildlife. Activist Mark Bixby incorrectly implies that eucalyptus groves are habitat for the endangered California gnatcatcher. The gnatcatcher's habitat is coastal sage scrub, a sensitive plant community that can be displaced by eucalyptus groves. Although concerns over the eucalyptus trees are well intended, the loss of this grove will likely be beneficial to the long-term health of the native ecosystem being restored and the wildlife it will support.
May 4, 2003
Re "New Plan Endangers the Same Projects," April 25: This article gives a negative slant to what is a very positive approach by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service -- that an endangered species, the gnatcatcher, should be protected. It is the law. We in South County should realize that the whole world cannot live in this presently wonderful place. I have been coming to this area for more than 60 years and for 10 years have lived here. We need our undeveloped places. Not just for the gnatcatcher, but for the future generations that should have an area in South County where there is no development.
March 30, 2003
Re "A Sellout, or Just Practical?" (March 14): Almost seven years ago, The Times praised the creation of the 37,000-acre Nature Reserve of Orange County, noting that "Orange County has been a spawning ground for new ways of thinking about the coexistence of development and environmental protection." Having celebrated the creation of the reserve in 1996, it is all the more disappointing that a Times reporter would all but dismiss the significance of Orange County's most impressive and comprehensive effort at habitat and species preservation.
More than half a million acres of Southern California land protected for two imperiled species will retain its special status even though federal officials failed to consider the economic impacts of labeling so much property "critical habitat," a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled earlier this week. In making this decision, which was made public Thursday, Judge Stephen V. Wilson rejected the Bush administration's effort to leave the land unprotected and open to development while the U.S.
Folks around Trabuco Canyon insist they're not rebellious by nature. It's just that the stakes are high in their fight against a neighbor who bulldozed four acres of oaks and coastal sage scrub without state and federal permits. To assess the extent of the grading, they hired a biologist to videotape the work. After all, the residents said, the area was possible habitat for endangered or threatened species. But the biologist was shooed off the property.
A federal judge in Los Angeles, acceding to a Bush administration request, Monday invalidated protection of several hundred thousand acres of land in Southern California deemed essential to the survival of two imperiled species. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials have said the request is part of a broad reevaluation of "critical habitat" designations involving millions of acres of protected land, mainly in California.
October 4, 2000
Re "Developers Urge Delay of Gnatcatcher Ruling," Sept. 26: The developers and politicians miss the point completely. It does not matter how many California gnatcatchers there are across the border in Mexico or how close they are genetically to the ones in California. They are in Mexico, an independent, sovereign nation. We cannot tell Mexico what to do with its land or wildlife. We must protect our native species within our border independently of what happens to the same species in other countries.
October 1, 2000
Re "New Study Rekindles Gnatcatcher Battle," (Sept. 26): Thank goodness for the "destruction" industry's new, totally unbiased report proving that the California gnatcatcher is not really endangered. Now we can go about our patriotic business of plowing under, paving, building and bulldozing over every remaining square inch of Southern California. As a famous man, Edward Abbey, once said, "Uncontrolled growth is the mentality of the cancer cell." If we're going to continue to be good, hard-working, law abiding cancer cells, we can't let common sense or some technicality like environmental law stand in the way. Once again progress is being impeded by some kind of pinko tree-huggers.
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